Jazz look to build on win over Warriors
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PHOENIX -- The Utah Jazz gave the NBA world a nice little jolt with a monster victory over Golden State their last time out. Phoenix was simply glad to get back on the winning track in its last game.
Utah and the Suns will meet in Phoenix on Friday, three days after the Jazz handed Golden State its most lopsided loss in almost two seasons, a 129-99 home victory.
"Great night," Jazz guard Ricky Rubio called it.
"A pathetic effort," Warriors coach Steve Kerr said of his group.
The Suns broke a five-game losing streak with a 102-88 victory over Dallas on Wednesday.
As the NBA grinds on, Utah cannot help but carry a nice glow into Phoenix after stopping the Warriors.
Utah (22-28) shot a season-high 58.7 percent against Golden State while extending its winning streak to three and winning for the fourth time in five games. Small forward Joe Ingles had 20 points and a career-high six 3-pointers.
"Shooting is an equalizer," Jazz coach Quin Snyder told reporters afterward.
"I thought when we came out, Joe Ingles set the tone with the confidence with which he shot the ball. You aren't able to beat those guys if you don't shoot it well ... we haven't been able to beat them, and it's because they're that good."
Rubio had a double-double with 23 points and a season-high-tying 11 assists, and rookie Donovan Mitchell had 20 points against the Warriors, who had not lost that decisively since Portland guard Damian Lillard dropped 51 on them in a 137-105 victory on Feb. 19, 2016, to stop an 11-game winning streak.
"When you play against the champs, you always get that extra energy," Rubio said. "But we got to bring it every night."
Point guard Rubio is averaging a career-high 11.4 points and 5.0 assists a game in his first season with the Jazz. He had 15 points and his other 11-assist game the first time these teams played, a 97-88 Suns victory on Oct. 25. The teams meet twice more in Utah as the Jazz hover near a playoff berth, three games behind Denver for the eighth spot in the West.
Mitchell is making a strong case for NBA Rookie of the Year consideration while leading the Jazz with a 19.4-point scoring average. He also is recording 3.4 assists and 3.4 rebounds a game.
Mitchell averaged 22.2 points in 11 January games, with season highs of 34 and 35 points. He was named the Western Conference rookie of the month for January.
The Suns (18-34) do not present nearly the challenge that the Warriors do, although the Jazz must guard against a letdown in the first game of a four-game road trip that includes a game at San Antonio on Saturday.
Devin Booker had 15 points and Marquese Chriss had his second double-double of the season with 15 points and 12 rebounds when both returned to the lineup against Dallas after missing a game.
Booker, who has opened at point guard in his last three starts as the Suns evaluate that look, is averaging 24.4 points and 4.8 assists a game.
With a third-quarter steal Wednesday, third-year forward Chriss became the fourth player in league history to record 100 steals, 100 blocks and 100 3-pointers before his 21st birthday. LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Kobe Bryant are the others. Only James and Durant got there faster than Chriss, who was 20 years, 213 days old.
"I think it is pretty dope," said Chriss, averaging 7.1 points and 5.1 rebounds a game. "I like to block shots. I like to shoot. So I think that's me."
Suns interim coach Jay Triano: "The fact that he's in the company he is (is) because of his strength and athleticism. He's just still figuring the game out and we love it when he plays with that energy, because those are energy things -- the steals, the rebounds, the activity."
Chriss, who played 28 minutes, will be on a shorter leash until his conditioning returns, Triano said. Chriss had missed the previous game with an ankle injury and had not played in seven of the previous nine games.
"I was pretty much sick of missing games," he said. "My ankle hurts a little bit, but you have to play through some bumps and bruises. It's just something I had to do, and I chose to do it."
Josh Jackson, back in the starting lineup at off guard Monday, tied a career high with 21 points. He has at least 20 points and eight rebounds in each of his last two games.
Updated February 1, 2018